The revised recommendations still need to be formally adopted / Photo from UNIAN

The Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union (COREPER) has passed a decision that makes it possible to reopen the EU borders for fully vaccinated tourists from third countries.

This was announced by European Commission Spokesman for justice, equality and rule of law Christian Wigand at a briefing in Brussels on May 19, 2021, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

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"EU ambassadors agreed to update the approach to travel from outside the European Union," he said.

The European Council "now recommends that member states ease some restrictions, in particular for those vaccinated with an EU-authorized vaccine."

The ambassadors also agreed to ease the criteria for countries to be considered COVID-19 safe and from which all tourists can travel, depending on their coronavirus and vaccination status.

"The Council should also soon expand the list of non-EU countries with a good epidemiological situation from where travel is permitted based on the new criteria agreed today," Wigand said.

Under the existing criteria, the list includes only seven nations, namely Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand.

At the same time, he said, in order to limit the risk of new strains of the coronavirus entering the EU, the Council agreed on a new "emergency brake" mechanism that will allow EU member states to respond to the emergence of new strains in a quick and coordinated manner.

This should allow for the gradual resumption of international travel when it is possible in safety conditions, while providing an opportunity for an urgent response to counter the spread of new COVID-19 strains.

The revised recommendations still need to be formally adopted by the European Council, he said.

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